Stephen Moore, who is President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, offered up a very awkward defense of a racist joke he once told about the family of former President Barack Obama.
Moore stumbled during an interview with Margaret Hoover on PBS’ “Firing Line” as he attempted to explain the gag he told after the 2016 election about Trump kicking “a black family out of public housing.” Previews of the interview were released online Tuesday.
“So, you know, that, that is a joke that I always made about, you know, Obama lives in, you know, the president lives in public housing,” said Moore. “But I didn’t mean it like a black person did.”
“I just meant that, you know, you know, being in the White House, you know, for example, when I was working with a lot of women in families who were involved in the education voucher program, you know, here in DC, and people would say, well, you know, and these were, these were blacks who would say, you know, why does Barack Obama get to send his kids to any school that he wants to and we can’t? And they’d say, he lives in public housing, and it was just kind of a joke, and that was referring…”
Hoover noted how “the optics” of “a conservative white man talking about kicking a black man out of public housing have a particular resonance, especially in this moment.”
Moore agreed he “shouldn’t have said it.”
He then alluded to his history of making controversial remarks, such as the derogatory comments he wrote about women in sports in the early 2000s, for which he has now also apologized.
“Again, you can, you go back 30 years, you’re going to be able to find clips over and over and over again about me,” he said. “I have a long paper trail. I mean there’s no question about it. And I say things that are kind of jokes that if people want to pick them apart, then I probably won’t, you know, get on the Federal Reserve Board.”
In a second preview clip from the interview, Moore addressed another contentious statement he made in 2000 about males needing “to be the breadwinner of the family.”
He acknowledged that “times have changed a lot” and he “shouldn’t have said that.” Moore also suggested there should be “a statute of limitations on saying stupid things, and I’ve said some pretty stupid things.”
Check out that clip here: